Authorities investigate dock fire

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Pictured is a boat that was on fire in a dock in the Needles Eye area. This boat and two others, as well as the dock, were damaged by the Saturday blaze. Contributed photo

Cause of fire that burned boat suspicious

Authorities are investigating a dock fire in the Needles Eye area Saturday that damaged multiple boats and is said to have come from a suspicious cause.

At 6:11 p.m. Saturday, Central Crossing Fire crews were dispatched to reports of multiple boats and a boat dock on fire. Crews said although it was known what cove the fire was in, it was initially unclear what side of the cove the fire would have to be accessed from.

Some crews responded by land to the Sans Souci area and some to the Needles Eye area. Central Crossing’s fire boat responded to the area, as well, and mutual aid was requested from Southern Stone County fire boat.

It was determined land access would need to be made from Needles Eye, so all crews were directed there. Upon arrival, one boat was found to be in a large dock fully involved, with many other boats in immediate danger. The dock and two additional boats were becoming involved.

Crews extinguished the flames and removed the involved boat from the dock. The dock and two other boats sustained moderate damage.

All property owners who have received damage have been contacted and made aware of the situation.

The cause of the fire is suspicious in nature and under investigation at this time.

“As of right now, it’s just suspicious,” said Rusty Rickard, Central Crossing Fire Department chief. “There are just things about it that aren’t making a lot of sense. The boat hadn’t been used in a couple years, the batteries were disconnected and there was no electric running to it. There’s no reason for it to burn like it did.”

Rickard said the department is working with the Highway Patrol’s water division to contact possible witnesses in the area.

“We had numerous people that called in when it happened, so we are following up with them,” he said. “Initially, we were told several boats and docks were involved, as calls were coming from different sides of the lake. But, we got it put out quick and were able to save further damage to the dock. Six or seven other boats in the dock were not damaged.”

“Our thanks to Southern Stone County Fire, Missouri State Highway Patrol water division and Barry County 911 for their assistance,” A Central Crossing release said.

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